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      The Crumbling Coalition: France to Withdraw Following Bin Laden Threat 

      In a sharp blow to the Western alliance, the hawkish French government of Nicolas Sarkozy announced it would withdraw all 3,500 troops from Afghanistan beginning in 2011. (CSM, October 28)

      The Sarkozy withdrawal announcement came after a taped threat from Osama bin Laden to pull out of Afghanistan and stop oppressing Muslims in France.

      The Canadian government, led by the neo-con ally Stephen Harper, is planning to withdraw its 2,800 combat troops by December 2011. Poland will yank its 2,600 troops by 2012, the same year Swenden plans a reduction of its 600 troops. Following the deaths of four of their nation's soldiers in a convoy attack, Italy announced that its 3,400 troops will leave Afghanistan by 2014. The Netherlands withdrew all its 1,950 troops this year. 

      The United Kingdom, while for now keeping its special forces in Afghanistan, is floating a withdrawal deadline to begin next year, one which would see all of its combat troops removed by 2015.

      In short, while the US lacks an exit strategy, its foremost allies are heading for the exits. 

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      Reader Comments (3)

      Could it be a coincidence that these withdrawals are occurring around the time of WikiLeaks? The callous treatment of civilians revealed in these accounts must give pause to diplomats hoping to win 'hearts and minds' in Afghanistan by following the US lead. - Celia Carroll

      November 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCelia Carroll

      Hi Tom,
      Do you think it is good for the peace movement that the French are backing down? They will lead to more lives lost. In the mean time, Osama Bin Laden "catch him and kill him" has not released the French he took hostage. Certainly, you did not mean to overlook this point in your comments, did you? That means that he will do it again--and that his actions are independent of the war, a war he uses a pretext to violate international law.

      The French strategy, appeasement, did not work in preventing World War II and it won't be effective at thwarting a terrorist bastard who has killed thousands of people--and whose taste for blood has not been satisfied. The peace movement has let us down again, you have let us down again, Mr, Hayden.

      Much of the philosophy of Osama, was taught to them from Nazis during World War II-- and that philosophy has continued unabetted--passed on from generation to generation.

      The French move was an act of weakness, one that Osama will exploit -- that means more people will die. Mean while, the U.S. peace movement can run around with its anti-Israel, anti West leanings, and claim a victory.

      But it's a hollow victory that will bring more acts of terror, more death.

      November 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChad Brown

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      November 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterModerator

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